When the Major Soccer League folded in the summer of 1992, two of its former teams (Dallas and San Diego) joined a group of hockey and basketballarena owners led by Ron Weinstein who wanted to create a league to fill dates during the summer months. It was thought that the ability to avoid arena issues with NBA and NHL teams would be helpful to the league's health.
The CISL played its first season in 1993 with seven teams including one team in Mexico, the Monterrey La Raza. The league reached a high of 15 teams by 1995 including a second team south of the border, the Mexico Toros. However, the league played with 11 teams in both 1996 and 1997. After the 1997 season several teams withdrew from the league. When Dallas, the best-drawing team in the league, left the CISL just before Christmas 1997, the league disbanded.
Dallas and Sacramento were two of the founding franchises for the Premier Soccer Alliance in 1998, which became the World Indoor Soccer League in 1999.